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Significance of the sacred festival of ‘Vaikuntha Ekadashi’

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New Delhi, Jan 06: The sacred Vaikuntha Ekadashi is one of the important and auspicious days for Hindus. On Sunday, devotees throng to the holy shrine of Lord Venkateswara on the eve of the Vaikunta Ekadasi festival.

The Vaikuntha Ekadashi is dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

Significance of the sacred festival of ‘Vaikuntha Ekadashi’

According to the Hindu Calendar, this auspicious day occurs in the month of Margashirsha (between December and January). This day is observed, it bestows liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

On the day of Vaikuntha Ekadashi fasting is an important aspect of those associated with it. Devotees fast the whole day and keep vigil.

On Ekadashi, people fast and engage in prayers and meditation of Vishnu. They are strictly prohibited from taking rice.

That night, people keep vigil the whole night and visit the temple of Vishnu, mostly in the wee hours of the morning.

The temple of Lord Venkateswara turns a spiritual paradise on this auspicious day of Vaikunta Ekadasi at Tirumala. Devotees queue up to offer prayers.

It is seen that every Hindu festival has some mythological tales that signifies the day. The significance of Vaikuntha Ekadashi mentioned in the Padma Purana, the Gods, unable to bear the tyranny of 'Muran' a demon, approached Lord Shiva, who directed them to Vishnu. And a battle ensued between Vishnu and the demon Muran.

Once, in order to take rest and create a new weapon to slay Muran, Vishnu retired to a cave for the goddess named Haimavati.

Here the demon tried to kill Vishnu in his sleep, but the female power that emerged from Vishnu burned the demon Muran to ashes. Vishnu names her as Ekadashi and gives her the boon that those who worship Ekadashi on the day of her victory over Muran would reach 'Vaikunth', the heavenly abode of Lord Vishnu.

Since the day is observed with fasting, one who fasts on this day would attain Vaikuntha. On this day, the Vaikuntha Dwaram or the gates of Vaikunta are believed to be kept open. This happened on the eleventh day of a lunar month.

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